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  1. #11
    Plinker

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    Gotta love these Chinese rifles and the history behind this particular model. It’s ironic how it’s easier to legally fire one in the USA than in China.

  2. #12
    Master Alamo's Avatar

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    Operation Akron

    The wiki article says Operation Akron was conducted in June 1967. The plaque denotes Akron III in October 1967, so I guess they liked the first one so much the did it twice more.
    I love the typo in the plaque on the rifle. <cough cough> something-something Army <cough cough> Gotta love Big Green!


    ETA: I'm seeing references to Akron V in Jan 68, so I guess they really did like it.

    ETA2:
    26 Sep.-21 Oct.
    Operation: AKRON III

    Location
    : Base Area 303 (Hat Dich Secret Zone), Phuoc Tuy
    and Bien Hoa Provinces.

    Type: search and destroy, land clearing.

    Controlling headquarters:1st Bde, 9th Inf Div. Task
    organization: 4-39 Inf, B/2-47 Inf (M), 3-5 Cav, 1-11 Art, 2/48
    ARVN Bn, 52nd ARVN Rgr Bn.

    Intelligence: 274th PLAF Rgt.

    Execution: AKRON III was a continuation of land clearing and
    search and destroy operations in Base Area 303 (Hat Dich
    Secret Zone). Contact with the enemy was light and sporadic
    throughout the operation but the largest known weapons cache
    in the III CTZ to date was discovered, contacting over 200,000
    rounds of small arms, 1,022 small arms and 125 crew served
    weapons.
    http://1-14th.com/Vietnam/Archives/M...67%20d8562.pdf
    Last edited by Alamo; 12-21-2018 at 10:42.

  3. #13
    Plinker ZachJ03's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alamo View Post
    Operation Akron

    The wiki article says Operation Akron was conducted in June 1967. The plaque denotes Akron III in October 1967, so I guess they liked the first one so much the did it twice more.
    I love the typo in the plaque on the rifle. <cough cough> something-something Army <cough cough> Gotta love Big Green!


    ETA: I'm seeing references to Akron V in Jan 68, so I guess they really did like it.

    ETA2:
    http://1-14th.com/Vietnam/Archives/M...67%20d8562.pdf

    Thank you for this info! I hadn’t had much luck finding info on Operation Ackron III. Maybe this rifle came from that cache that was found. Also, forgive my ignorance but what is the typo? “Husky” instead of “Hotel”?

  4. #14
    Plinker

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    Aftermarket production cleaning rods for the M44/Type 53 can be found for very cheap online. All of my T53's came with none just like yours did. What did the Chinese do with these rods?

  5. #15
    Master Alamo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachJ03 View Post
    ... Also, forgive my ignorance but what is the typo? “Husky” instead of “Hotel”?
    "ACKRON" vs "AKRON".

  6. #16
    Plinker ZachJ03's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alamo View Post
    "ACKRON" vs "AKRON".
    😂 I didn’t even catch that. Thanks again for the info.

  7. #17
    Master Alamo's Avatar

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    I suspect the LTC Gendron on the plaque might be this guy - I've found only two Gendrons who were Army officers during the Vietnam period, and this one appears to be a closer fit:

    Alvin J. Gendron
    April 04, 1930 - September 26, 2017


    The obit notes he was a retired Army Colonel. His age at death would make him 37 years old in 1967, which would be the right age to be a Lieutenant Colonel. His wife at time of death is from Indiana, and he has two sons in Indiana, which may be the route that your rifle ended up in Hoosierland.


    That's a fairly unique name, and it appears in this declassified "lessons learned" report about artillery support by the 54th Artillery Group. The 54th Arty Group provided support to the 9th Infantry Division in Viet Nam in 1967. The 9 INF conducted the AKRON series of operations. The report is a quarterly report covering the period November/December 1967 and January 1968. The report notes that Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell R. Thurmen, assumed command ofthe 2d Bn, 35th Artillery [one of the components of the 54th Arty Group] from LTC Alvin J. Gendron on 25 Jan 68. I think it's safe to assume that LTC Alvin Gendron was also in command of the 2d Bn 35 Artillery during October 1967 during Operation Akron III, and thus likely the recipient of the rifle you have.

    The lessons learned report that covers the period of time that Operation AKRON III was conducted (Oct 67) strangely does not mention Akron III. It does mention that LTC Gendron's unit provided artillery support for the original AKRON, which occurred in August. (I found from other sources that the original AKRON was conducted in two parts, both under the AKRON name, and then the next operation was named AKRON III). I don't know if this was an error, or if because AKRON III didn't end until 26 Oct the data from it didn't arrive in time to make the report. Other reports I have run across say that AKRON III uncovered a record-setting amount of Viet Cong small arms, ammo, and other supplies, so I'm betting that the 2d Bn 35th Artillery also provided support during AKRON III somebody decided to give it's commander this rifle as a memento.

    There is another LTC (later COL) Gendron, first name Thomas, that served in Vietnam, or at least during Vietnam, but I'm betting that Alvin is your guy.


    Final fun fact: The 9th Infantry Division, which conducted the AKRON operations, was the unit that Forrest Gump was assigned to when he rescued Lt Dan.


    There's more out there, it would be kind of cool to dig into this and have a history or "provenance" of your rifle. The internet is sometimes a wonderful tool.

  8. #18
    Plinker Opie's Avatar

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    Great piece, shame the family let it go. Thanks for sharing.

  9. #19
    Master Alamo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachJ03 View Post
    ... “Husky” instead of “Hotel”?
    This was bugging me a bit. The inscription says "FMHUSKYCHARLIE" which means (fairly) clearly "From Husky Charlie," but who is "Husky Charlie?" At first I thought it maybe was a joking reference to the enemy, but the Viet Cong were known as VC, "Victor Charlie", not "Husky Charlie."

    A little more searching turned up another lessons learned report at DTIC, which has the answer:

    . Husky Charlie, as the unit was known throughout the operationel area,was the first 155mm SP artillery battery committed to the conflict in the
    Mekong Delta.
    The unit in question was Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 35th Artillery, an artillery battery in the battalion that was commanded by LTC Gendron. That unit had the tracked M109 Self-Propelled Howitzers with the 155mm cannon mounted on it. I'm guessing that "Husky" referred to Howitzer(s), and the Charlie was of course for the C in Battery C.

    At the time of this particular report LTC Gendron had moved on and another commander was in place, and they arty guys were involved in turning back the Tet Offensive.

    https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/391449.pdf

  10. #20
    Grandmaster Denny347's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachJ03 View Post
    Yeah it seems most T53 bringback’s are 1960 date. Nice one you have there. Very cool pieces of history! Is yours all matching numbers? Mine is all matching besides the bolt.
    Nope, non matching. It seemed that the 60's productions went to Vietnam. They produced these in the early 50's and those didn't seem to make it to Vietnam and were brought into the US by a specific Importer. I haven't seen too many 1960 that were import marked.
    On the other side of fear lies freedom.

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